Keith Hemstreet's misinformation of Hermosa Beach City Council Candidate, Jeff Duclos - response
October 29, 2009
By Joy A. Kennelly
I have requested Keith to update his : http://www.smalltownhermosa.blogspot.com with accurate information, but until he does so I want to clear the air in case people read it and believe what he says about Jeff Duclos which is erroneous.
Because others might have similar questions, here's the dialog that occurred privately between Keith, Jeff and myself. Please take a moment to read it if you will.
Original comment from Keith:
Duclos makes a big point of not accepting tax payer financed health care if he is elected to the Hermosa Beach City Council. I have found that people are quick to give away benefits they don't need. Do you know where he gets his health insurance from? I'm wondering if he gets it from Cal State Northridge? Wouldn't that be from the tax payers? I sent him an email, but have not heard back.
Also, have you signed up for his newsletter? If you do, you get a message asking if you want news from Ron and D Williams Groups. I did a search on that name, and I found political contributions around the country. Any idea who that is? I'm still looking.
I knew Jeff responds to everyone whose email he receives and figured he just hadn't seen the email and I was right.
Here's Jeff's prompt response to Keith which is what I've asked him to post out of courtesy:
"Thanks for the opportunity to respond.
I did not get your email, Keith. If you don't mind, please resend it to my email@example.com address so I can make sure there is not a problem there.
To your questions: I currently have basic HMO coverage which I pay for. I am only a part time instructor, so I don't get the health care package offered full time Cal State staff. I'd love to have fully paid health care for myself and my family. I do not give this benefit up lightly. I can assure you, my wife is not happy about my decision. But it is not right to do so. To accept these overblown benefits at the taxpayers expense would make me another part of the problem, of a system that is over-compensating senior staff and attracting people to city government for the wrong reasons. My pledge to serve my community has nothing to do with acquiring paid benefits or political career building. It's about contributing to building a better city and giving back to Hermosa Beach for the life it has afforded my family for 30 years. That's the way the best of our council members from the pat looked at the job. We are about to have three new School Board members taking on a very tough and often thankless job. They are receiving no compensation. But I should ask for paid health care, a car allowance and retirement benefits for a position that is not, by definition, a career job?
As to your last question, I use a system called Constant Contact to distribute my email newsletters and messages. It is very efficient and affordable, but you do have to accept some advertising. I'll look into this company you mention. I was not aware of it on the email and thanks for bringing it to my attention.
And here's my response to Keith:
Hi Jeff, Thanks for responding so quickly to Keith.
Keith - I have known Jeff personally and professionally for a very long time. He is very straight shooting, speaks the truth, thinks about the long-term consequences before making decisions and loves Hermosa Beach.
Please consider voting for him! If you're at all questioning his abilities, please take the time to call him on the phone or meet with him. I'm positive you will walk away with a good idea of the man.
Unlike most PR professionals I've met in Hollywood, he is not a spin doctor and basically operates from a truth-based position (as do I.) Hope this helps! I think the other candidates you're choosing (Fishman and Midstokke) are great selections and Jeff will definitely make a great addition to your roster!
Tell your friends and family. We need quality, straight shooting people in office who put the community first - like Jeff Duclos.
That's all. Just had to clear the air and defend the candidate I believe will do best for Hermosa. My computer has been fighting a virus which has in turn greatly slowed me down, but just bought a new antivirus system and it's whacking away.
More to come.